Stephen King's new book, 'Joyland,' hits bookstores June 4.
Stephen King’s new novel, “Joyland,” began 20 years ago with a single image the writer couldn’t shake from his head: a boy, in a wheelchair, flying a kite on a beach.
From that image, a story slowly took shape, King told NPR, until it culminated in his latest book, a retro thriller about a haunted small-town carnival.
Set in North Carolina in 1973, “Joyland” follows a heartbroken college student who takes a job at the kooky beachfront amusement park where he learns the secret history behind a gory murder and gets pulled into the eerie world of carnies. The book, which is published by hard-boiled crime publisher Hard Case Crime, is set to hit bookstores June 4.
How “Joyland” harkens back to King’s childhood:
King told NPR he chose Hard Case Crime because the publisher reminded him of his favorite childhood reads.
“Hard Case Crime is a throwback to the books that I loved as a kid,” King said. “We lived way out in the country, and my mother would go once a week shopping, and she would go to the Red & White or the A&P to pick up her groceries. And I would immediately beat feet to Robert's Drugstore, where they had a couple of those turn-around wire racks with the hard-boiled paperbacks that usually featured a girl with scanty clothing on the front.”